Labour Government’s dishonesty about immigration and the ID card scheme
Those nasty Johnny Foreigners that we’re so worried about the numbers of, consuming our resources, taking our jobs, our women, our housing, our healthcare etc… well, it’s ok, they are going to be given ID cards says the Home Office (and sundry churnalists writing in the media):
The plastic wallet cards show the holder’s photograph, name, date of birth, nationality and immigration status. A secure electronic chip holds their biometric details, including fingerprints, and a digital facial image.
Yes, the Government is still at it, trying to make itself look ‘tough on immigration’, and sell the ID card and Big Brother database scheme, by appealing to our ignorance about immigrants.
First cards roll out in autumn
The first cards are scheduled to be issued 25 November. Within three years all foreign nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK will be required to have a card.
Of course, normal members of the public – ones with better things to do than write blogs – probably won’t know that not every foreign national needs to apply to enter or remain in the UK. It is only those from outside the European Economic Area (non-EEA) who do. And these form a minority of those foreign nationals coming to our shores.
By 2014, 90% of foreign residents in Britain should have identity cards.
The introduction of national identity cards for foreign residents will be followed by the first ID cards for British citizens, targeting workers in sensitive roles – such as airports – from 2009.
Then from 2010 ID cards will be available to young people who want them.
From 2011, cards will be available to the general population.
This is called ‘salami-slicing’ – in this context, picking on vulnerable groups (you don’t want an ID card? get out of the country / cockpit) in turn until the whole population is covered.
See the cards for yourself
Keeping the country safer
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the announcement of the cards for foreign residents shows the government is fulfilling its commitment to protect identity.
‘ID cards will help protect against identity fraud and illegal working, reduce the use of multiple identities in organised crime and terrorism, crack down on those trying to abuse positions of trust, and make it easier for people to prove they are who they say they are,’ she said.
‘ID cards for foreign nationals will replace old-fashioned paper documents, make it easier for employers and sponsors to check entitlement to work and study,
Although the Identity Verification Service is not yet set up, so I’m not entirely sure how an employer will check entitlement to work and study.
And there are only a handful of prosecutions a year of those who employ illegal workers. What’s the point of this aspect of the scheme if the rules remain unlikely to be enforced?
Simply a matter of politics, trying to make us feel better, rather than trying to make the system better as well.
Michael Parker from No2ID has pointed out today’s presentation was not actually of an ID card. Describing today’s events as “pure theatre”, Mr Parker says the card is in fact just a new visitor visa, designed to replace paper documents.